Flashback – Jan. 2001-Jan. 2004

Posted on Jan 24 2012

Jan. 24, 2001

Arroyo outlines core program of government

Invoking salus populi suprema lex, the Supreme Court of the Philippines, in an en banc decision, took judicial notice of the vacancy in the position of the Philippine President. Based on this, Vice President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo was sworn into office by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court at 12:30 in the afternoon of Jan. 20, 2001. Expressions of support from various business sectors, civil society, political leaders, and the general public reflect the wide acceptance of the new president’s decision to lead the country toward reforms.

NMC recovers $.5M in payment dues

The implementation of stern collection policies at the Northern Marianas College is beginning to gain ground, according to the NMC Business Office, noting a remarkable improvement in students’ tuition payment habits. Since the Board of Regents last year instigated moves to employ stricter collection efforts, the college has recouped roughly around $585,000 of outstanding student dues since Sept. 2000, out of the long overdue $2.8 million worth of tuition debts. According to the Business Office, some $2.184 in receivables still need to be recovered.

Jan. 24, 2003

OPA faults CUC’s hirings, promotions

Almost 18 percent of the Commonwealth Utilities Corporation’s over 300 personnel are receiving on-call pay, a practice that is based on its unregistered and incomplete Personnel Manual that does not adequately address different compensation processes, the Office of the Public Auditor said in a report. The same report also revealed that six of 22 CUC promotions were question-able, adding that 23 of 46 exceptional employee evaluation reports given in 2000 and 2001 were not supported by written justifications. Since the CUC’s manual does not address promotions, it frequently promotes people without adequate justification, said Public Auditor Michael Sablan.

More austerity plans mulled

The Senate is hoping to gain the lower House’s concurrence on the proposal to cut 10 percent of each Legislature member’s $155,000 constitutional allotment, as part of efforts to contribute to the government’s cost-savings goals. Senate Floor Leader Joaquin G. Adriano said an ad hoc committee composed of selected members from both Houses may be formed to jointly review several cost-cutting recommendations. “We will deliver a letter to the Speaker, asking him to nominate maybe three members to join us and incorporate all the recommendations for the Legislative branch to assist the government in terms of reducing expenses,” said Adriano.

Jan. 24, 2004

SGMA tackles environmental concerns

The Saipan Garment Manufacturers Association has taken the initiative to meet with the CNMI’s environmental agencies to address environmental concerns. The Coastal Resources Management Office welcomed this development, arranging a meeting with the SGMA and CRM agencies on Jan. 28. Besides CRMO, CRM agencies include the Division of Environmental Quality; the departments of Public Works, Lands and Natural Resources, and Commerce; Historic Preservation Office; and the Commonwealth Utilities Corp. CRMO enforcement chief Martin Cabrera said the agencies have been notified about SGMA’s request. The meeting would be held at the CRMO’s conference room beginning 9am, he said.

PSS faces dilemma on USDE grants

The Public School System has not seen eye to eye with the U.S. Department of Education on the use of a multi-million-dollar grant money under the No Child Left Behind law. Education commissioner Rita H. Inos said during yesterday’s board meeting that up to now, the PSS has not received its funding from USDE for fiscal year 2004. The PSS expects to receive some $10 million from USDE for the current year. Inos said her office has already sent three letters to USDE asking it to allow the PSS to spend its grant money, particularly Title 6 and 5, with some flexibility but the department has not made any clear decision yet.

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